Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Epstein, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Deborah Avant

Third Advisor

Nader Hashemi


China, Civil-military relations, Economic liberalization, Economic privatization, Egypt, Iran


Why have some economically-active militaries of autocratic regimes gained more autonomy vis-à -vis their civilian elite as a consequence of economic liberalization processes adopted in 80s and 90s, whereas others have remained subordinate to civilian control? This dissertation examines the impact of economic liberalization since 1980s on civil-military relations (CMR) in autocratic regimes. Prior to liberalization, the centrally- planned governments of Egypt, Iran, and China utilized their militaries to implement economic development projects. Post-liberalization, these militaries expanded into new economic sectors like finance, banking, and trade. The expansion impacted the balance of CMR differently in each case. Egypt's military took over the state, the China's People's Liberation Army retreated to the domain of defense, and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps became a coalition-maker. This research argues that the modes and pace of liberalization in general, and privatization specifically, are crucial to understanding CMR variations. Aspects of liberalization led to varied capitalist development projects, which conditioned the empowerment or disempowerment of militaries. If liberalization and privatization fostered economic competitiveness, militaries had fewer opportunities for enhancing their autonomy. Whereas if incomplete liberalization and rapid privatization did not lead to the establishment of a competitive economy, militaries had more opportunities to expand their autonomy.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Loosineh Markarian Senagani


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

199 p.


International relations, Political science, Military studies